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Embedding MEP in Manufacturing USA Institutes Pilot Projects Round Three

Back to Closed Federal Funding Opportunities

UPDATE: This opportunity has closed.  The execution of awards will be in August 2017.

NIST invites proposals from current MEP Centers to pilot test approaches to provide needed technology acceleration assistance to small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers (hereinafter referred to as small U.S. manufacturers) through the establishment of meaningful and results oriented collaborations between the nationwide system of Centers operating as part of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program (hereinafter referred to as NIST MEP), and the public-private manufacturing innovation Institutes operating as part of Manufacturing USA (previously known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and hereinafter referred to as Manufacturing USA Institutes).

NIST MEP previously made funding awards to MEP Centers in FY 2016 and FY 2017 to embed personnel in nine (9) of the fourteen (14) Manufacturing USA Institutes pursuant to Round One 1 and Round Two2 of this pilot program.  This NOFO is targeting the issuance of up to five (5) cooperative agreements to existing MEP Centers to embed personnel in the five (5) Manufacturing USA Institutes identified below: 

  • Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI)
  • Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Institute
  • National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)
  • Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute
  • Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute

To view a PDF of the full Notice of Funding Opportunity, click here.

Please submit your proposals via under Funding Opportunity number 2017-NIST-MEP-EMUSA-02.

Funding Availability
NIST anticipates funding up to five (5) cooperative agreement awards, with up to two-year (2) periods of performance, in accordance with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3. of the NOFO.  It is expected that funding for these awards will be between $300,000 and $600,000 per year, with total federal funding for the two-year award period being between $600,000 and $1,200,000.  NIST anticipates up to $6,000,000 in total federal funding being available for awards issued pursuant to this NOFO. 

Who Is Eligible
Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity are MEP Centers receiving current cooperative agreement funding from NIST. To receive funding under this NOFO, an applicant MEP Center must form a collaboration, teaming arrangement, or other appropriate relationship with one (1) or more of the five (5) Manufacturing USA Institutes identified below.  For purposes of this NOFO, the primary Manufacturing USA Institute is the one in which the MEP Center plans to embed at least one (1.0) MEP Center personnel FTE.  The relationship must have been established at the time of application submission and must be documented with a letter(s) of commitment (see Section IV.2.a.(12). of this NOFO) from the Manufacturing USA Institute(s) with which the relationship has been established.

The five (5) Manufacturing USA Institutes identified below are not currently hosting embedded MEP Center representatives in residence at their Institute locations as the result of either the 2016-NIST-MEP-ENNMI-01 funding opportunity3, or the 2017-NIST-MEP-EMUSA-01 funding opportunity4.  These five (5) Manufacturing USA Institutes are5:

  • Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI)
  • Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Institute
  • National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)
  • Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute
  • Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute

NIST encourages project proposals involving participation from multiple MEP Centers and multiple Manufacturing USA Institutes, as well as other collaborating entities such as local economic development organizations, universities, community colleges, technology incubator programs, and other organizations. 

An MEP Center may serve as the applicant on only one proposal There are no restrictions on the number of applications in which MEP Centers or Manufacturing USA Institutes can be proposed as collaborators, nor are there restrictions on MEP Centers receiving Round One and Round two awards serving as collaborators on projects funded pursuant to the Round One and Round Two competition.  See Section III.1. of the NOFO for more information regarding program eligibility. 

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement
Non-federal cost share is not required for awards issued pursuant to the NOFO.  Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with budgets that maximize the application of award funding to the performance of project tasking and direct project costs.   

Competition Time-line
Below is an outline of the key steps along with the target timing of each. These actions will take place over the next several months. Updates and changes will be posted to this site as needed.

  • April 3, 2017 – Publication of Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in
  • April 19, 2017 – Information Webinar conducted
  • June 2, 2017, 11:59 pm EST, Friday – Due Date for Proposals (please refer to
  • June to August 2017 – Review, Selection and Execution of Awards
  • August 2017 – Targeted Start date

Information Webinar
An information webinar was held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. You can view the presentation slidesor watch the recorded webinar below. 


MEP Resources

The following resources are currently available:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions from applicants pertaining to MEP eligibility, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal will not be considered on an informal basis. Applicants must submit all such questions in writing to

Questions submitted to NIST/MEP may be posted as part of an FAQ document, which will be periodically updated on this page. This FAQ is designed to provide a better understanding of the requirements of the NOFO.


For More Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created March 13, 2017, Updated November 15, 2019